Your brand personality… that wonderful combination of traits and characteristics that makes your brand special. If you’ve never heard the term before, you might be wondering how a brand can have a personality (let alone a secondary one!) but trust me when I tell you – understanding your brand personality, and aligning everything within your brand, is like business magic! One day I really must write a post giving more insight on brand personality as a whole (I did an IGTV video which gives a bit more detail, click here if you want to watch). However, today, I want to focus on why you need to know your secondary brand personality.
Here’s a brief overview of brand personality, for those who have never come across the idea before.
Just as we humans have different personalities (with different characteristics, tendencies, quirks, and approaches to life), brands have different brand personalities (with varying traits, and ways of doing business).
Instead of thinking about your brand as an intangible ‘thing’. Imagine your brand is a person. How do they come across to other people? What are their values? How do they feel in certain situations? Who brings out the best in them? What makes them tick? What do they want people to think and say about them, when they’re not in the room?
In the same way you can explore your own personality – understanding more about who you are; you can discover your brand personality and create such a wonderful connection between you, your business, and your clients/customers.
Your secondary personality
Of course, when looking into your brand message, values, and personality, you need to know the main characteristics. Even if only slightly, these are the traits that are most important and dominant within your brand. If you could only be seen and known as one type of personality – your main brand personality would be it.
Speaking as a branding designer for small businesses, it’s your secondary brand personality that really brings your brand to life.
Secondary personality hints, touches, depths, and edges take your brand from something okay to something balanced and well-rounded (or, on the contrary, something quite unusual and bold). Creating a brand that feels more complex and yet, as result, more natural and ‘real’. Plus, if both your main and sub brand personality types align with your own personality – you are more likely to create a brand that feels good (take a look at my blog post ‘Creating a brand that feels good’ if you want to find out more).
Understanding your secondary brand personality
By understanding your secondary brand personality, those little sub characteristics that add extra softness, contrast, friendliness, or professionalism to your brand, you can introduce different elements within your business to help better connect with your audience, reduce any misconceptions, and get across your message and values more clearly.
For example, let’s say a brand’s main personality is fun, playful, very imaginative, and friendly. Now, for some brands (very few!) that’s enough. They don’t need to look any further, they don’t want or need another side. Again, speaking as a branding designer – these aren’t the kinds of brands I enjoy working with because they tend not to be as well-rounded. They usually lack ‘something’, in my experience.
For other brands (most brands), there’s more to them. Perhaps they are also very sensitive, supportive, and delicate; they might have an earthy, organic, or artisan side; or maybe they have a very distinctive, high-end, and expensive edge. Whatever their sub personality, not understanding it or making the most of it won’t do a brand any favours.
Making the most of both sides
If our fictional fun, playful, very imaginative, and friendly brand created a brochure with only their main personality in mind (maybe with lots of pops of colour, fun fonts, and whimsical images), would that suggest any of their secondary traits? Would it feel balanced and get across their message and values as a whole? In all likelihood, it would put off their ideal clients who are looking for the combination of both sides of their brand.
They could add in some slightly traditional and feminine fonts to suggest a softer side, use some rustic textures and props in their photography to connect with more outdoorsy roots, or use striking geometric shapes and a touch of metallic to create more drama.
That’s a very simplified example.
Combining two types of personality takes careful consideration but, when done well, it makes for a much more interesting and relatable brand. It gets across a complete picture, the true brand, and it connects with the right people in multiple ways.
I love combination brand personalities. Like a best friend who can both make you laugh during life’s highs, and hold your hand in difficult times, having different depths and hints to your brand can connect with your clients or customers on a completely different level – one where only you can sit and no one else compares. As I said earlier… it’s business magic.
Need help figuring out your brand personality (main and secondary traits), or want to make sure your branding or branding materials are aligning well with both sides of your brand? Get in touch, I’d love to help.